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Find all contacts older than…

We’ve got a large group of people in a contacts folder and now I have to determine who of them are older than a specific age. For each of them we’ve entered the birthday date already but I don’t know how to go from there.

Is there an easy way to filter Contacts based on their age?

You can definitely do this in Outlook and the easiest way would be to use Instant Search for this but you can also do it via Advanced Find.

Instant Search

As you are working from the Birthday field, you’ll first have to calculate which year you want to search from. To find everyone who is at least 20 years old, you’d have to do a search where the Birthday field contains a date from before 1989. To do this, type the following;
birthday:<1989

To do this for people who are younger you should type;
birthday:>1988

To find people who are born in 1989 type;
birthday:1989

To do this more accurate from a specific date you can type;
birthday:<10/15/1989

To also include the people who are born on that date you should include the “=” character;
birthday:=<10/15/1989

You can also search between 2 specific dates, for instance; to determine who are in their twenties;
birthday:10/16/1979 .. 10/15/1989

In Outlook 2010, to find contacts for which you haven’t set a birthday use;
birthday:[]

It is important that you type the correct date format of your computer. So it might require you to type the following instead;
birthday:16-10-1979 .. 15-10-1989

Note 1: Sadly, searching based on the “Anniversary” date is currently broken for Instant Search.

Note 2: More about the Instant Search command and operators can be found in the guide: Instant Search query commands reference

Advanced Find

If the Instant Search Query Builder is not available to you, it is probably because Windows Desktop Search is not installed on your computer. If you cannot install this for some reason, or if your are using Outlook 2003 or previous, then you can still use Advanced Find;

  1. Open Advanced Find (shortcut key is CTRL+SHIFT+F).
  2. Select the Advanced tab.
  3. Set the “Look for:” dropdown list to; Contacts
  4. Verify that the correct Contacts folder is selected.
  5. Add the following criteria;
    • Field: Birthday
    • Condition: before
    • Value: 1989
  6. Press the button Find Now.

To match the examples from Instant Search;

  • Set the condition to “after” to find people who are younger than that date.
  • Set the conditions to “contains” to find people who are born in a specific year.
  • The value can also hold a specific date.
  • Set the Condition to “on or before” to include a specific date.
  • Use the Condition “between” to search between 2 specific dates. The Value should then be written as;
    10/16/1979 and 10/15/1989

To find people for which you have not set a birthday, you can only use Advanced Find in Outlook 2007 and previous and you should set the Condition to “does not exist”.

Note: This is a variation of a previous tip to find e-mail between specific dates.


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